Tears will be shed today by hard-rock miners at Nickel Rim South Mine, by the union that represents them, and by friends and family as they mark the one-year anniversary of the workplace death of a man who was beloved.
Richard Pigeau, 54, was killed Oct. 20, 2015, when he was struck by a piece of machinery while working in the mine owned by Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations (Glencore).
Just days before this sombre anniversary, the Ministry of Labour laid seven charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act against Glencore Canada Corp. and two against a supervisor after a one-year investigation into Pigeau’s death.
Glencore is charged with interfering with, and/or disturbing, and/or altering articles and/or things at the scene of a workplace fatality; failing to provide information, instruction, and supervision to a worker to protect the safety of the worker; failing to ensure the equipment it provided was maintained in good condition; failing to ensure measures and procedures prescribed in a section of the act were carried out in a workplace; and failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker.
The supervisor, whom the ministry did not name, is charged with failing to take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of a worker and failing, as a worker, to work in a manner that did not endanger another worker.
The matters will be heard in the Ontario Court of Justice on Dec. 9 in a first appearance.
Anne Marie MacInnis, president of Mine Mill Local 598/Unifor, said members are still trying to cope with the loss of the veteran miner. A memorial has been erected in Pigeau’s memory above ground at Nickel Rim South, incorporating his wrench, which was bronzed. Many of Pigeau’s colleagues will observe a moment of silence at that monument to mark the grim milestone.
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